President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday announced new economic sanctions against Cuba, during a memorial event with veterans of the failed 1961 “Bay of Pigs” invasion.
Trump announced that the U.S. Treasury Department would prohibit U.S. travels from staying at properties owned by the Cuban government, further restrict the importation of Cuban products like Cuban alcohol and tobacco. Trump said. “These actions will ensure that U.S. dollars do not fund the Cuban regime and go directly to the Cuban people.”
The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo provided more details about the sanctions against Cuba in a Wednesday press release. The release states additional sanctions prohibit “attending or organizing certain professional meetings or conferences in Cuba; and participating in and organizing certain public performances, clinics, workshops, competitions, and exhibitions in Cuba.”
“Taken together, these actions seek to deprive the Cuban regime of the resources it uses to oppress the Cuban people and fund its interference in Venezuela, to the detriment of the citizens of both countries,” Pompeo said.
Trump also said on Wednesday that his administration will impose “strict sanctions on the dictatorships of Nicaragua and Venezuela.”
Previewing the sanctions announcement, Pence said, “Mr. President, you’ve taken strong action to stand for freedom in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, and today with the new sanctions that you’ll be announcing at this event, you will confirm that in this White House you will always be Que Viva Cuba Libre.” The phrase translates to, “Long live Free Cuba.”
Earlier in his Wednesday remarks, Trump also hinted at other Cuba-related actions his administration was preparing but did not provide details, saying, “A lot of things are going on right now that I can’t tell you about.”
Trump criticized his predecessor, President Barack Obama, for making what he called a “weak, pathetic, one-sided deal with the Castro dictatorship, that betrayed the Cuban people and enriched the communist regime. I canceled the Obama-Biden sellout to the Castro regime.”
The Trump White House, in June of 2017, announced he would be overturning the Obama-era Cuba policies.
Speaking on Wednesday, Trump said, “We will not lift sanctions until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly are respected, all political parties are legalized, and free elections are scheduled.”
Trump said, “The courageous veterans here today bear witness to how socialism, radical mobs and violent communists ruin a nation.”
“Now,” added, “the Democrat Party is unleashing socialism right within our own beautiful country.”